How to Create a Backup Using FTP

Backing up your website is a necessary step for all users. Be sure to read our Do you run backups of your servers? article for an overview of how backups are maintained for our servers.

cPanel includes an easy feature to backup your website, however, if your site is very large you’ll want to use an FTP client to download your website files instead. The process is quite easy, and in this article we’ll show you how to do backup your files using the Filezilla FTP client.

1. Download and Install Filezilla
The first thing you’ll need to do is download Filezilla, and you can do so on the following page:
2. Use Filezilla to connect to your account
After you’ve downloaded and installed Filezilla, use the quick connect feature to connect to your ftp account. To do so, you’ll need the following settings:
Host: For the host value, enter example.com. For example, if your domain name is domain-abc-123.com, enter domain-abc-123.com
Username: Enter your cPanel username here.
Password: Enter your cPanel password here.
Port: The default port number is 21, but you can leave the port blank here.
quick-connect

3. Download your files
After you have connected, you can then download your files. There are several different ways to do this, we recommend the following:
In the following directions, you will be working within different quadrants in FileZilla. The following screenshot defines them:
quadrants

In the upper-left window, click your desktop to open it.
desktop

In the lower-left window, right click and choose “Create New Directory
create-directory

Label the directory so that you will recognize it later. In this example, we named the folder “Website Backup” followed by the date.
rename-directory

Double click the new directory in the lower-left window to navigate to it.
navigate

In the lower-right window, click any folder and then hit Ctrl-a on your keyboard to highlight all of the files and folders
select-all

Selecting all of the files and folders in the above step will download all files in your hosting account, including files used by cPanel. If you don’t want to backup every single file, you can hold Ctrl on your keyboard and only click the folders that you want.
public_html: If you want to download your website files, select the public_html directory
Email: If you want to download your email, select the mail directory.
Databases: Your databases are not stored in the same directory as your hosting account. If you would like to download a backup of your databases separately, please see the following link: Backup your database in cPanel
Right click on any of the highlighted files / folders and click “Download“. This will download all of your files / folders to the “Website Backup” folder that we created above. Please note that the time it will take to download all of your files will depend on the number of files that you have and how large they are.
complete

Thoughts on “How to Create a Backup Using FTP

  • In the cPanel Backup Wizard it says that you cannot restore a Full Backup using the cPanel interface. My web site isn’t that large and I would prefer to use cPanel but want to make sure there is a method to restore if necessary. Should I use FTP or cPanel to backup and if I use cPanel what is the restore method? Thanks…

     

    • Hello Dave,

      A full cPanel backup would require root access to the server which is the reason it is not available to our non-vps/dedicated customers (without root access). If you’re backing up using the options in the cPanel, then you can use the restoration options there as well. You can find out how to use the restoration options in cPanel here:

      Restore your Database in cPanel

      Restore a Home Directory in cPanel

      I hope this helps to answer your questions, please let us know if you require any further assistance.

      Regards,
      Arnel C.

  • Hello,

    You mentioned this will not backup my database.  What is database? Should I be also backing up database?  If yes, how?

    Thank you

  • I am trying to download Fiezilla on Mac OS X Version 10.11.2 but my anti-virus software is showing infection blocked – Other-Malware-gen.  I have tried downloading via Firefox and Chrome but both are giving the same result…. any ideas why this is happening?

    • Are you downloading it from Filezilla directly? If so, your anti-virus software is likely throwing a “false” positive. I’d suggest disabling it and downloading the package.

  • @TJEdens

    Yes, i get an error message. I think it’s about i’m tryng to download files that my account doesn’t have. I’m connecting to my server now but they don’t reply yet.

    • Hello Ruth,

      Did you get an error message for the failure? The only thing that I can think of on the top of my head would be that the connection dropped or you were trying to download files that your account doesn’t have access to.

      Best Regards,
      TJ Edens

  • good day! I want to ask about how backing up the files in my wordpress. I followed the instructions and it’s working but many files failed to transfer. why is it that? Can you help me please? thanks 

  • Hello,

    How can I transfer my files from a “download host” to another “download host” by filezilla? In fact, this is a backup for my host. I know, I can do it by remote desktop, by I want to know, is it possible by filezilla? If you know, please let me know too.

    Thank you very much

    • Hello Hossein,

      Thank you for contacting us. The above guide explains how to just that, have you tried to follow this?

      Then, upload the files to your new account with FileZilla.

      Thank you,
      John-Pual

  • Hello everyone I’m a newbie. I got a question about backing up my website. I’m using Magento and it’s hosted on an external server. How do I make sure I have downloaded all, copying the files locally using FTP? I left the terminal to work and a copy of Magento folder was created on my PC, but I ask because at the first attempt I was disconnect. Thanks a lot

    • Hello Faith,

      You may want to zip the files and folders you want to copy. Then you can download it as a single file and then unzip it onto your local machine.

      Kindest Regards,
      Scott M

  • My site is quite large. I ended up going with the wordpress plugin BLOGVAULT. it is $10 a month and well worth it. Painless, seamless, fast. 

    • Hello Karen,

      Thanks for the suggestion! If you ever feel like contributing an article to explain the plugin, it would be welcomed! Checkout this page for more details on user created articles!

      Regards,
      Arnel C.

  • It was pretty simple when I was with Bluehost.  Just a phone call and they will do it for you.  Smae thing with a restore, it takes just a couple of minutes and a phone call.  When InMoting you have to do everything yourself and every communication with Inmotion has to be done through emails (even for the smallest, simplest things).  The problem is, not everybody is a programmer.  Big mistake swithcing to IMH

    • Hello isiah,

      Thank you for contacting us. Our Live Tech Support department is available to guide you 24/7, 365 days a year via phone, email, and chat.

      You can request a Data Restoration right from your AMP(Account Management Panel), with just a few clicks. While we don’t offer monthly/weekly backups, you can perform a backup at anytime using the backup wizard in cPanel.

      Similar to us, Bluehost’s official Scope of Technical Support states: “We do not offer support for 3rd party installations, coding, programming or site creation or design of any type.

      This is because there are unlimited ways to code a website, and there is no way for us to know all the code involved in the development of the site.

      If you have a specific problems or questions, we are happy to help you work through it. Feel free to post them below.
      Thank you,

      -John-Paul

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